With Giovani Bernard gone, Samaje Perine becomes the likely handcuff to Joe Mixon and a dart throw in the double-digit rounds. Perine had 136 total yards and two touchdowns in Week 16 against the Houston Texans, which was the only game he received more than 12 touches. Mixon has only played 16 games once in his four seasons, so Perine could become a popular waiver wire add at the very least.
Perine should have a role in the Cincinnati offense this season, according to Jay Morrison of The Athletic. Bengals OC Brian Callahan has made it clear he wants to use Joe Mixon more, but the team will still need a backup RB to take some snaps, and for the first time in years it won't be passing-down specialist Giovani Bernard (now with Tampa Bay). Perine is much different from Bernard, of course, offering size and power rather than agility and receiving skills. Fortunately for the Bengals, Mixon is a well-rounded back who can be trusted for any down and distance, giving the team flexibility in terms of which snaps the backup handles. Perine was an effective runner in limited action last year, taking 63 carries for 301 yards (4.8 YPC) and three TDs, including a 13-95-2 rushing line Week 16 at Houston. The other competitors for backup work in Cincinnati are rookie sixth-round pick Chris Evans, undrafted rookie Pooka Williams and 2019 sixth-round pick Trayveon Williams.
Perine re-signed Wednesday with the Bengals on a two-year deal, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports. Perine proved himself as a capable depth piece last season, averaging 4.8 yards per carry while working behind Giovani Bernard after Joe Mixon went down with a foot injury. He'll likely handle a similar role going forward, with the potential opportunity to compete against Bernard for the top backup spot this offseason.
Perine finished the 2020 season with nine carries for 51 yards in a Week 17 loss against the Ravens. He ended the season with 63 carries for 301 yards and three touchdowns, along with 11 catches for 66 yards. Perine isn't especially fast or shifty, but he proved capable as the backup to Giovani Bernard after Joe Mixon got hurt. Perine is a free agent this offseason.
Perine rushed the ball 13 times for 95 yards and two touchdowns in Week 16 against the Texans. He added four receptions for 41 yards. Perine was out-carried 16-13 by Giovani Bernard, but he made better use of his chances. The splash play of his performance came on the Bengals' fourth offensive play of the second half, when he broke a number of tackles and rumbled 46 yards for a touchdown. Three drives later, Perine made his second trip to the end zone on three-yard plunge. Entering the week, Perine had failed to command more than 10 carries in any contest and could see his volume decrease in Week 17 against the Ravens.
Perine rushed four times for 14 yards in the Bengals' 27-17 win over the Steelers on Monday night. Perine had tied a season high with 10 carries in Week 14 against the Cowboys, but that workload was partly a byproduct of an early Giovani Bernard fumble that earned the veteran a benching. However, coach Zac Taylor gave Bernard ample opportunity to redeem himself Monday night in the form of 25 carries, which led to Perine reverting to a clear backup role. Considering he'd logged zero and three carries in Weeks 12 and 13 before last week's volume spike, the fourth-year pro will be difficult to trust despite an appealing Week 16 matchup against the Texans' AFC-worst rush defense.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|5||10/10||Green Bay Packers||27||20.33|
|8||10/31||@New York Jets||20||18.00|
|11||11/21||@Las Vegas Raiders||29||22.38|
|13||12/05||Los Angeles Chargers||14||16.75|
|14||12/12||San Francisco 49ers||7||14.75|
|17||01/02||Kansas City Chiefs||25||19.32|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||25||116||1||5||24||0||19|